Giving While Taking Less From the Planet

There are lots of things that can be done to reduce our carbon footprint during the Winter Holidays. My daughter June learned about carbon calculators during her Fall semester at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

She learned carbon footprints could be measured daily, for example, by watching our household electric and water meters over time and identifying best practices to reduce our use. And over extended periods, we could scrutinize number figures of our vehicle use, vacationing habits, and dining habits.

Our human behavior differs from person to person, especially, during the Holiday shopping season. Lots of energy, travel, and of course, spending is involved. Let us think more about our carbon footprint during the Holidays.

Here are just a few things to think about:

  • Buy early, buy online. Not all gifts have to be store-bought
  • Buy local. Mark your calendar and visit local bazaars and markets
  • Choose gifts made from recycled materials and sources
  • Choose ‘battery-free’ gifts

7 Tips for Traveling Responsibly on Navajo Lands

Promoting responsible travel requires exploring the practice of sustainability in all environments we encounter. Ultimately, we want our travel guests to make positive impacts in the space they find themselves with efforts to maintain the integrity of local cultural heritage and the natural environment. When you visit the Navajo Nation area keep these 7 tips in mind.

1. Leave it be. Don’t take rocks or disturb rock formations. They are unique. Let’s preserve their uniqueness in every way.

2. It’s about tranquility and respect. Keep the noise to a minimum. If you need to cross a gate, close it behind you. You are most likely hiking through a ranch and you do not want to set free any livestock. Respect signs that say no trespassing.

3. Hiking etiquette. Let’s hike the right way. Stay on paths unless directed by your guide. Be conscious of your surroundings. Keep your footing away from vegetation, because native plant root systems anchor soil and prevent erosion.

4. It’s about attitude not technology. Be creative and capture those memorable moments, but don’t forget to also absorb this majesty and magic without the technology.

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Have a reusable water bottle and shopping bag. A shopping bag and water bottle will help curb your carbon footprint while traveling the Navajo Nation reservation.

6. Ask before you click. Ask permission before taking photographs of locals. Strike up a conversation, because storying breaks down walls of fear and just so you know, the Navajo philosophy of learning is sustained from storying.

7. Buy local. The Navajo Nation reservation has many local vendors selling authentic items. For many, this is their everyday income. Negotiating the price of a product is discouraged because many items already have a markup value less than 5%. We don’t recommend paying for photos, but exchanges are great!